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Gov. Paterson Set to Deliver State-of-State

Monday, January 05, 2009

On Wednesday, Governor David Paterson lays out his legislative agenda and the fractious state Senate will vote on a new majority leader. WNYC's Elaine Rivera reports:

REPORTER: After a year of roller coaster Albany politics, Governor Paterson will give his first state-of-the-state address where he will tell New Yorkers his legislative priorities. On the same day, the Democrats - who won a majority of senate seats for the first time in four decades - will cast their votes for majority leader.

The top contender is Queens Senator Malcolm Smith. He's expressed confidence that he will be chosen despite a challenge from three renegade Democratic Senators. They could tip the balance of senate power back to the Republicans.

Russ Haven, of the New York Public Interest Research Group, says the ball's in the air when it comes to what the Democrats may do.

HAVEN: Like much of what has occurred in really the last year, it's a little bit unclear it's a cliffhanger.

REPORTER: Haven says if the Senate leadership is contentious, Paterson may face an uphill battle in getting his budget proposal passed as he tries to harness a $15 billion deficit.

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